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Joe Eley lecture on freedom, politics, and society

Published 1962

Contents Notes: Part 1: History of Fabianism; Part 2: Responsibility; Part 3: Independent Voter; Part 4: Summary

Description: In part 1 of 4, Eley discusses what he considers the great issue of our time, man vs. the state (or individual freedom vs. society's rights). He traces the history of the Fabian Society of London, which aimed to implement socialism in England via legislation, and the Labor Party in Britain. He explains how this concept came to the United States, covering the Public Ownership League, the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, and the League for Industrial Democracy. This footage appears to represent highlights from a lecture course on politics and society that was framed around the question of the kind of society citizens want.

In part 2 of 4, Eley explores the alternative to the collective state, which requires examining the manifest of responsibility. If we are to be free, we must focus on the individual. According to Eley, for those unable to maintain themselves, responsibility passes to the family, and from there to the church. Next in line after the church is local government, then state government, and lastly, federal government.

In part 3 of 4, Eley identifies the great problem of current politics, the independent voter in US politics. Eley discusses the types of independent voters, the non-voter, the casual voter, and the crossover voter. He focuses on the crossover voter as the most problematic.

In part 4 of 4, Eley addresses what is at stake in politics. He asserts that while we as individuals are working hard, politicians are making decisions about the fruits of our labor, the future of our family members, and our freedom. He highlights Benjamin Franklin's understanding of freedom, which required responsibility, along with political participation.

According to the label on the film canister, the speaker is Joe Eley. It is likely that he is Joseph J. Eley, the co-author of "You Should Be a Politician" (New York : Public Affairs Counsellors, 1959).

This lecture is thought to be part of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) nonpartisan series of political forums for the thousands of PG&E employees in northern and central California.

Source: 4 Reels of 4: Film: 16mm

Collection Guide: Pacific Gas and Electric Company Motion Picture Film 1960-1970

Call Number: 80177 Reel 1-4

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Digitized by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP).

Run time 01:04:43
Producer Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Audio/Visual Sound, Black and White
Language English
Contact Information Hoover Institution Archives, 434 Galvez Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010 Archives Reference: (650) 723-3563 Email Archives Reference:


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on 12/13/2013
Source: 1 Tape of 1: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University
by Commonwealth Club of California
Source: 1 Tape of 1: 1/4 inch audio tape
Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University
by Commonwealth Club of California
Source: 1 Tape of 1: 1/4 inch audio tape